Wednesday, June 05, 2002

The Deal Hudson take on the Roman Curia is getting a lot of play on Catholic blogs. You can read the excerpt of his mass emailing at Tim Drake's weblog.

My take on this is that for the same reason that the Bishop's in this country are only paying attention to this because of the media and not because they are just discovering that this stuff is a problem--so too in the Curia, only the Curia isn't under attack by the Italian press so it can just do what the American bishops would like to do and blame the media. The problem here is that there is a basic hypocritical stance toward morality that is essentially Roman. Roman law held that the "law" is an ideal. The ideal should always be held high but no one should get too excited if the ideal wasn't meant or kept.

This has led to an acceptance of all kinds of behavior that most Americans would find as incredibly corrupt. Because American's believe the "law" is to be obeyed. I'm too much of an American to ever figure out the rationale behind all this Roman law stuff, but I think the Roman Empire is pretty much dead. So if the Church is going to move into the Third Millenium, it is time for them to universalize the notion of the Faith and get the hell out of Italy.

The Western Church has made a host of laws that the East has never even been concerned with. Yet if you really understand what the Western Church practices you find that the whole notion of "law" is not what Americans mean when they think "law." This creates endless confusion and problems here.

I remember a bishop, now dead, telling me once that while he was the head of the former Catholic Welfare Association that when he worked with the Phillipine clergy there wasn't a celibate one in the bunch. It kind of shocked me at the time (he was talking about the 1940's) but even more that it was just accepted. In Rome a lot is accepted. This drives Americans crazy and I think rightly so.

A reform of the "Roman" curia will be successful only, if we drop the whole "Roman" way of dealing with reality. Most of the international bishops who end up in the curia adopt its ways. This has to stop. This my friends will require a general council of the Church--which I pray is on the horizon.